Monisha Kaltenborn says she is not confident the small teams’ concerns about their future is being heard by F1’s governing body.
Caterham and HRT have collapsed, Manor only narrowly survived the winter and now Lotus’ serious financial crisis is playing out publicly in the 2015 paddock. Sauber and Force India have also had their high-profile problems, as the lower half of the grid pleads for assistance and changes to the current system in F1.
Asked if the embattled teams are being heard by their most powerful rivals, Sauber chief Kaltenborn said: “It is not them that we want to be heard by, but the commercial rights holder, the FIA and the fans.” She said the current system is not equipped to support teams like Sauber, who do not sell “drinks or cars” like grandees Red Bull and Mercedes.
Kaltenborn was also asked by the French magazine Auto Hebdo if it is ‘naive’ to believe that the powerful Strategy Group might do something about the situation. “I have to judge from the outside,” she answered, “because Sauber is not part of this, and – probably like you – I don’t get all the details. “But yes, the real problems are not addressed. And no, I see nothing coming. And yes, it would be naive to hope that there is another way.”
Asked if the most naive party of all is the FIA, whose president Jean Todt wants the sport to solve its problems alone and democratically, Kaltenborn answered: “I would never take the liberty of speaking about our legislators in that way. “The only thing I can say is that I hoped for more, and that I still hope for more from our legislators, because we need a strong federation. “Should we change the system of penalties? The format of the weekend? All these things and many others are not within the province of the teams,” said Kaltenborn.